United Kingdom manufacturing defies expectations to hit four-month high

China official Manufacturing and Non-manufacturing PMIs(August) coming up today - preview

The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index for the United Kingdom manufacturing sector jumped to 56.9, a four-month high, in August from an upwardly-revised 55.3 in July, easily exceeding the 55.0 consensus forecast in a poll of economists.

A survey of manufacturing sector activity in Myanmar has showed a contraction in August for the third consecutive month, although the pace of decline remained slight, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on September 1. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while anything below 50 indicates contraction.

"The key question is whether this positive start to the second half of the year can be sustained", said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit. But he cautioned shortages in staff and raw materials could hamper growth in the sector.

The central bank has cut the benchmark Selic interest rate aggressively to protect the fragile recovery, with 12-month inflation at its lowest in eighteen years.

That was in-line with a reading from an official PMI released the day before, although Caixin's gauge was boosted by "robust" foreign demand, contrary to the findings from the first of the two surveys, Simona Gambarini at Capital Economics pointed out.

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A robust performance from the manufacturing industry will fuel hopes that the United Kingdom economy can churn out a stronger performance in the third quarter following its tepid start to the year.

The report noted that while workforce numbers grew at the fastest pace in six months, production increases slowed, causing the level of outstanding business to rise for the first time since April.

All five of the manufacturing PMI subcomponents rose in August. "Business confidence also rose to one of its highest levels in over a year".

The BOE's Monetary Policy Committee voted 6-2 to keep the benchmark rate at a record low last month.

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